John Cruzan, Joplin Section Director and MO MUFON Field Investigator:
Obituary: John David Cruzan, age 54 of Joplin, Mo. passed away early Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at his parent’s home from a motorcycle accident. John was born on April 9, 1964, in Joplin, the son of David and Carol (Pfifer) Cruzan. He has been a lifetime area resident. John graduated from Parkwood High School in Joplin. John was a Paramedic Supervisor for Newton County Ambulance, a police officer and pilot, and later he went on to work for the Joplin Globe for many years before illness forced him to retire. He enjoyed playing guitar and riding motorcycles.
Michelle Hickmon was a pathologist who worked with Missouri and Kansas MUFON investigators on animal mutilations. She was training us to do examinations and autopsies. She taught us how to properly collect samples of tissue and perform other tasks. Michelle passed away on December 9, 2014 at the age of 47. She had a number of UFO sightings and close encounters herself, and wanted answers. Michelle held a BA in Liberal Arts from UMKC, an MA in Secondary Education and Teaching, and an Associates Degree in Mortuary Science. She worked as a teacher, counselor, and as a pathologist assistant at Truman Medical Center. She taught us much and she was very interested in the UFO and animal mutilation mysteries. Michelle will be greatly missed.
Jack J. Hubbell was born January 3,1941 in Flint Hollar, Missouri to Guy and Elva Hubbell. Jack was proud of his service in the United States Army Reserves. Jack's legacy lives on at Hubbell Mechanical Supply, the business he founded in 1970. An avid outdoorsman and skilled hunter, Jack departed this earth November 11, 2013 on the land that he loved. Jack is survived by daughters Sharla Hubbell and Shana Hubbell, son Declan Hubbell,wife Trish, a grandson Preston and his soul mate Shirley Hubbell. You always knew where you stood with Jack Hubbell. His forthrightness will be missed.
Missouri MUFON will greatly miss Jack, who was a field investigator for the organization for many years.
Jack J. Hubbell
Missouri MUFON Field Investigator
Joseph (Joe) Palermo
Joe Palermo passed away on February 2, 2021 after a long bout with cancer. Joe was a longtime member of Missouri MUFON and served as a Field Investigator and as Chief Investigator. He assisted on many cases across the state and worked closely with Debbie Ziegelmeyer and Margie Kay. Joe was a videographer, filmmaker and actor. Joe filmed our state conferences and many St. Louis MUFON meetings. He appeared on a documentary film about the Chupacabra, and spoke at many Missouri MUFON, and paranormal group events and conferences about his investigations and his own personal experiences. He often spoke of his encounter with a bigfoot in St. Louis when he was a teenager and continued to investigate that sighting over the years.
Joe offered valuable insight into cases of any type. He will be sorely missed by all.
Ted Phillips 1942-2020
Ufologist and Physical Trace Evidence Researcher
Theodore R. Phillips Jr, Reeds Spring, MO, son of Theodore and Lucille (Curtiss) Phillips Sr was born January 20, 1942 in Sedalia, MO and departed this life on March 10, 2020 at the age of 78.
Ted had been a resident of the area for thirty-nine years, moving here from Sedalia, MO. He had worked as a civil engineer for the State Highway Department.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife of fifty-seven years, Ginger Phillips of Reeds Spring, MO.
Funeral service for Ted will be held Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. at Stumpff Funeral Home Kimberling City, MO with Milita Hoffman and Rodney Dillard officiating. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Tri-Lakes Animal Shelter, 102 Washboard Hollow Rd., Reeds Spring, MO. Friends and family will gather at Claybough Plaza Mall, Branson West, MO, after the service. We will meet in the main lobby for fellowship and light refreshments. Burial will be in Yocum Pond Cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Stumpff Funeral Home Kimberling City, MO. https://www.stumpfffuneral.com/obituary/theodore-ted-phillips
I first met John when I investigated his remarkable sighting case in Joplin, which was later featured in the MUFON Journal in an article I wrote, and was the number one case for MUFON in July of 2014. I could tell immediately that John was very sincere, and that he had just had a real and harrowing experience. With his background in law enforcement and as a pilot, he had unique observation skills that most witnesses do not possess. This, combined with his interest in getting answers regarding what happened to him and to many others in the Joplin area, made him especially suited to become a member of MUFON, become a MUFON Field Investigator, and a section director for Joplin. I asked John if he would be willing to take on the task, and he was eager to do so.
John contacted a few people in the Joplin area and started meetings in Joplin, where more people came forward to discuss their own UFO experiences. He did many UFO investigations in the area, and as he did so, became more and more interested in solving the mystery. We often talked about these cases, and John even traveled to Kansas City to speak at our MUFON meeting in July of 2015, exactly one year after his encounter. Everyone in attendance was impressed by his presentation.
I traveled to Joplin to speak at one of the meetings last fall and was impressed by the experiences people were having. John was right, there is a lot of UFO activity going on in the Joplin area. He took me and KC Section Director Jean Walker to see the Joplin Spook Light - and we were not disappointed - we not only saw the Spook Light, but a UFO as well. John knew a lot about this strange, eerie phenomena, and told us he had been to the site over 200 times trying to get answers. During most of his visits the light would appear, and often UFOs would also become visible. The object we saw had three lights that were stationary, and came on one by one- apparently the UFO had been in that location prior to the lights becoming visible. It was an amazing experience, and one that Jean and I will never forget.
I am deeply saddened by his loss. John was a pleasure to work with and he will be greatly missed by me and all of Missouri MUFON. He was a valuable asset to the organization.
Margie Kay, ASD Missouri MUFON.
From Janet Cruzan: Thank you so very much for your prompt response to my letter regarding my brother, John Cruzan. He liked nothing more than investigating the reports he received of unnatural events surrounding the Joplin area. He was an attentive listener, a thorough investigator, and a near fanatical promotor for MUFON. He, alone, was responsible for the Joplin MUFON meetings, hosting interesting case studies with interactive audience participation. I am not alone to see the meetings come to such a sudden end.
It is with great sadness I relate to you his loss. My brother died at the home of our parents, David and Carole Cruzan on Tuesday, May 15th and was laid to rest in our family plot on the following Friday, May 18th, 2018. I'd like to think he has found the perfect planet with the perfect species in which to call home.
John died as a result of doing what he loved...riding motorcycles. His headstone reflects a motorcycle and the planet Saturn, both things (riding and studying the unknown) of which he spent all of his spare time doing. He was an accomplished guitar player, having performed with many well-known entertainers and local bands and was buried with his 1966 Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar.
John was obviously multi-faceted. I miss him dearly and grieve continuously. Again, your kind e-mail meant so much and I thank you again for your thoughtfulness.
Janet Cruzan Showers
Phillips working with J.Allen Hynek
Vince White passed away on February 6, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinson's. He was an avid UFO researcher and prolific writer who contributed much to not only our Kansas City chapter, but his writings and opinions were appreciated may many in the field. Vince made several presentations at local meetings, including one in particular that stood out regarding the Mars landscape and structures on the planet. Thank you, Vince, for sharing your knowledge with us while you were with us, and for your contribution of books to Kansas City MUFON, which will assist other researchers. You will be greatly missed.
Our sincere thanks to Jane White for contributing Vince's collection of books to Kansas City MUFON.
Spencer (Spence) Wolling, longtime Missouri MUFON member, passed away peacefully on
November 1, 2020 at the age of 96. Spence was a 1941 graduate of St. Louis Country Day School, a 1947 graduate of Princeton University, and 1949 graduate of Harvard Business School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering at Princeton after serving in WWII in the army as an ordinance technician in the South Pacific. Spence was a partner in a CPA firm and later Vice-President of finance for L.E. Sauer Machine Co. until he retired in 1993. He was also a Deacon, Trustee and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, and was proceeded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mildred.
Spence regularly attended the St. Louis area monthly MUFON meetings, always sitting near the front dawning a big smile. His interest in the study of UFOs and other unexplained phenomenon was vast as well as his knowledge on the subject. Spence was also a contributor to Missouri MUFON making a generous donation every December, to our local chapter. Spence Wolling was a kind, wonderful person who is greatly missed. Our local MUFON meetings may seem to have a void, but I believe Spence will be there with us quietly smiling as usual, enjoying the topic of discussion. Good-bye Spence
We have lost another of the great ones, Ted Phillips. Ted, a fellow Missourian, was the Director of the Center for Physical Trace Research (CPTR) and author of MUFON’s Field Investigator trace evidence collecting protocol. He also worked with J. Allen Hynek as his partner and colleague from 1968 until Hynek’s death in 1986. Ted remarkably investigated over 3200 trace evidence case reports in 91 countries, his most famous being the Marley Woods incident located in southern Missouri. I had the honor of working with Ted on his CPTR team from 2006 through 2008 visiting Marley Woods several times. Ted was a great UFO investigator, a real gentleman and will be missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace Ted. Debbie Ziegelmeyer, SD Missouri MUFON